Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy resurrected the character after its death in the 90s. Taking inspiration from classics like Year One, The Long Halloween, and Knightfall, Nolan created a contemporary, recognisable world in which an extraordinary figure rises in the wake of personal trauma.
Nolan said of Christian Bale that he had "exactly the balance of darkness and light that we were looking for." Bale had to gain 45 kg over the space of a couple of months in order to be physically prepared for the role, having lost a dangerous amount for his role in The Machinist. Initially, he actually added too much weight, and lost some prior to filming with the belief that Batman relies on his speed and he had become too heavy to naturally appear in the role.
Bale has recently admitted that he feels he fell short of what he hoped to accomplish in the role, even claiming that Heath Ledger ruined his plans with his fascinating portrayal of The Joker. The actor has expressed a nagging will to have continued the franchise, even while knowing that the Dark Knight trilogy came to a fitting and necessary conclusion.